15 votes

What are some of your favorite tools that have given individual games a new life?

I grew up playing DOOM, but if I were to boot up the original game I would find it frustrating to play by modern standards (e.g. mouse movement?!). Thankfully, there are a ton of source ports that modernize the engine and make the game more accessible to current gaming sensibilities (e.g. WASD-movement). They're basically community remasters of the game.

It got me wondering about what other games have strongly benefited from tools that exist outside of the game itself.

Examples of what I mean:

  1. Source ports (e.g. DOOM)
  2. Community bugfixes (e.g. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines)
  3. Restored/extended content (e.g. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II)
  4. Significant mods (e.g. Frostfall for Skyrim)
  5. Rulesets/challenges (e.g. Nuzlocke Challenge for Pokémon)
  6. Anything else that doesn't fit the above categories

11 comments

  1. [2]
    unknown user
    Link
    Mario Kart Wii's online community is still going, over four years after Nintendo shut down the servers. Wiimmfi, the most popular way to go online, regularly sees hundreds of players online...
    • Exemplary

    Mario Kart Wii's online community is still going, over four years after Nintendo shut down the servers. Wiimmfi, the most popular way to go online, regularly sees hundreds of players online simultaneously (stats here – Wiimmfi supports more games than MKW, but that's obviously the most popular by far). There are also many popular game modifications, which add new tracks and game modes; one of these, CTGP-R, sees well over 1500 update checks and almost 50 new installs per day (stats).

    9 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      It's genuinely amazing to me that there are hundreds of people still playing a formally "dead" game. What a great project! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      It's genuinely amazing to me that there are hundreds of people still playing a formally "dead" game. What a great project! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      3 votes
  2. moocow1452
    Link
    The Antibirth mod for the Binding of Isaac is one of the most impressive mods for fitting the tone of the original game that I've ever seen, so much so that the devs were brought on to make an...

    The Antibirth mod for the Binding of Isaac is one of the most impressive mods for fitting the tone of the original game that I've ever seen, so much so that the devs were brought on to make an official DLC pack for the game. (Minus the soundtrack guy, but it can be easily modded in.)

    Also, Captain's Edition for FTL is pretty much an expansion pack for FTL, with more options and weapons for ships that adds a little longevity to the game.

    7 votes
  3. [5]
    Amarok
    Link
    Requiem for Skyrim, Long War for XCOM, and Ghost Mode for Witcher 3 immediately spring to mind. All three are less 'mods' than they are attempts at finishing the games properly and improving them....

    Requiem for Skyrim, Long War for XCOM, and Ghost Mode for Witcher 3 immediately spring to mind. All three are less 'mods' than they are attempts at finishing the games properly and improving them. I also remember DeHackEd fondly for all the craziness you could unleash patching DOOM with it.

    Various emulators for early console systems do a lot of this too, extending the games to accept more input devices and larger screens. Without those extensions I doubt the emulation scene would be as popular. It's stupid easy now to emulate any of the 'golden age' of video games on android devices with RetroArch which also as a lot of quality-of-life fixes for any of the engines that have been made compatible with it. It certainly takes most of the pain out of emulation.

    Somewhere I even have a couple mods of the original Legend of Zelda ROMs that people created, moving all the items, puzzles, locations, and traps around so that you could play it as if new again.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Kachajal
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I was aware of (and adored) Requiem and Long War, but thank you for linking Ghost Mode. Witcher 3's gameplay is, to my eyes, deeply flawed and I never fully understood the hype for it because of...

      I was aware of (and adored) Requiem and Long War, but thank you for linking Ghost Mode. Witcher 3's gameplay is, to my eyes, deeply flawed and I never fully understood the hype for it because of that.

      I'm looking forward to trying Ghost Mode out, because it sounds like it at least attempts to fix the problems I noticed with the game.

      3 votes
      1. Amarok
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        The biggest changes it makes are to combat. It slows combat down just a bit so you have more reaction time. You'll need it, since a single mistake is likely to get you killed, like Dark Souls....

        The biggest changes it makes are to combat. It slows combat down just a bit so you have more reaction time. You'll need it, since a single mistake is likely to get you killed, like Dark Souls. Parrying is much more useful. The bombs and oils and potions are no longer optional, you'll need to mix/match them carefully based on opponents to gain the advantage. Make sure to check out the options menu it adds before starting a new game - it adds a lot of controls just like Requiem does so you can tailor the experience to your taste.

        It's incompatible with most mods since it changes everything. You can still mod the interface, textures, camera, gwent, quest objectives, map markers etc without issue. Just don't try to run any other mods that change items, stats, leveling, or combat. It doesn't merge with those. Edit: More details on that stuff here. Scroll a bit and there's a new major balance update coming for the mod this month with a beta patch on github already. Fun fact, the author of this mod also did a lot of the work for Long War. ;)

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      cos
      Link Parent
      I've been looking for a reason to give Skyrim another playthrough, and it looks like Requiem is just that! Thanks! I also can't stress enough how amazing RetroArch is as a platform. It's...

      I've been looking for a reason to give Skyrim another playthrough, and it looks like Requiem is just that! Thanks!

      I also can't stress enough how amazing RetroArch is as a platform. It's compatible with far more than just Android. For example, I've also used it on Linux and Windows. I highly recommend everyone reading this give it a try with your favorite ROM.

      2 votes
      1. Amarok
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Check out /r/skyrimrequiem and also /r/ultimateskyrim, which is a mod pack based on using Requiem as the core game. Getting Requiem to play nice with lots of other mods can be a bit dicey,...

        Check out /r/skyrimrequiem and also /r/ultimateskyrim, which is a mod pack based on using Requiem as the core game. Getting Requiem to play nice with lots of other mods can be a bit dicey, ultimate skyrim is as close as you get to a nice, easy, well documented installation process for everything, while still keeping it all patched and compatible with Requiem.

        3 votes
  4. wise
    Link
    Oh I wanted to make this thread for a long time! I think Heroes of Might and Magic 5.5 is for me the clearest: Improved (much tougher and deeper) AI, new artifacts, balancing of classes,... just...

    Oh I wanted to make this thread for a long time! I think Heroes of Might and Magic 5.5 is for me the clearest: Improved (much tougher and deeper) AI, new artifacts, balancing of classes,... just great!

    3 votes
  5. Supernova
    Link
    Going back to an unmodded Civilization V after playing with even just quality-of-life mods that make menus and data in the game more user friendly is impossible for me. Then mods like Vox Populi...

    Going back to an unmodded Civilization V after playing with even just quality-of-life mods that make menus and data in the game more user friendly is impossible for me. Then mods like Vox Populi turn it into a completely different game, and I still haven't mastered that.

    3 votes
  6. Kachajal
    Link
    The first one I can think of is Arx Liberatis, a source port of Arx Fatalis. It's been a while since I played it, but IIRC it did a great job of making the game playable and accessible on a modern...

    The first one I can think of is Arx Liberatis, a source port of Arx Fatalis. It's been a while since I played it, but IIRC it did a great job of making the game playable and accessible on a modern PC. Keep in mind that you'll have to compile the newest version yourself if you want to try the absolute newest additions, as the last release is five years behind.

    Next up there's OpenJK, which, again, takes the sources of Jedi Academy/Jedi Outcast and modernizes them. Aside from the project itself, there's some neat mods for it that were impossible with the normal game.

    And lastly there's one that I just now became aware of - OpenMW, a source port of Morrowind. I have not even tried it yet, but the only thing that ruined Morrowind's experience for me was the combat, which should be quite fixable with this port - and that makes me quite excited for it.

    2 votes